Rte 89 through Vermont.
Does anybody have any favorites from White River Junction to Waterbury?
Oh hey you beat me to it. I was going to ask this same question. I would like to add my request for good eats along the 89 in VT, but can we also put what exit they're at? That would be great.
I can already recommend Ocha Thai and The Alchemist off Exit 10 (Waterbury). Both are right on Main St. Ocha is open for lunch and dinner and I think The Alchemist opens at 4pm.
I'm hoping to hear from people with recommendations off the exits that I know nothing about - like everything from Exits 2-9 and 11.
Definitely second Dana's, although they may not be open now.
AVOID Firestones in Quechee - I've had too many terrible, slow meals there. It seems that it used to be better.
Simon Pearce is wonderful!
Off exit 8, Montpelier:
Sarduccis (on Main Street)
Restaurant Pheobe (on State Street)
Coffee Corner (Corner of State and Main)
Black Door (Main Street, further down and other side of street from Sarduccis)
Royal Orchid (On Elm street, not far from State street)
There isn't much off exit 7 that isn't a chain restaurant, over rated, or just ucky. (Applebee's, Friendly's, McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway, KFC)
The Steakhouse (on the same road as the fast food places, Barre-Montpelier Road or 302, depending which signs you read) isn't awful, but it's kinda pricey for what you get, which is mostly a mediocre meal (not BAD, just not great, and for $50 or up for the meal, I'd expect higher quality).
Ming Moon Buffet is your typical Americanized Chinese buffet place with nothing particularly remarkable about it. It is also on the Barre-Montpelier road and most easily accessed off Exit 7 (you gotta drive around the curve and down the hill taking the RIGHT hand split with the Montpelier sign near the hospital to get to this road).
The Wayside is also on the Barre-Montpelier road and falls into what I'd call "overrated". It's a diner, and nearly always busy, but I've never had anything but an adequate meal there. I have friends who differ with me on that, and apparently there's a large number of others in the area who also disagree, because it IS a very busy place. :)
I have had some pretty decent meals at the Wayside - including a very good roast prok special a few years ago - but more recently, it has been pretty poor. It is VERY inconsistent. Maybe OK for pie or breakfast.
I much prefer the Coffee Corner. Great pancakes, nice atmosphere.
Also, Gesine a little way up Elm Street for fabulous pastries and fine coffees.
Exit 9 - Red Hen Baking... they make wonderful breads and pastries, and besides where can you get an excellent cappucino or latte within a 1/2 mile of a highway exit. www.redhenbaking.com Also, depending when you will be driving through, they make THE Best Panettone with real dried fruits, not those colorful "candied" whatevers you can get in a plastic container on the supermarket shelves. I ship them to all my friends during the holidays.
I agree that the bread they make is amazing and I stop and get a baguette or loaf almost everytime I drive by during opening hours. I disagree about the pastry though. I think their croissants suck big time. The puff pastry is not airy and layered at ALL. It is almost brioche like. It has been the same for 3 or 4 pastries I have tried and I'm not trying anymore. I threw out the last two after a couple of bites. I do highly recommend the bread though.
Wow - all the pastry sucks big time? That is pretty harsh for a place using organic butter in their made fresh from scratch croissants! The made from frozen dough chain grocery store croissants suck big time. Perhaps Wurstoff was expecting a more Germanic style like a Laugencroissant or a Gipfeli? I would be curious to know what you consider a decent croissant and what you consider a great croissant? I find everything at this bakery to be top notch.
Thanks so much for pointing out the Red Hen Bakery. This is a great bakery right off the highway. http://www.redhenbaking.com/visit.html
I stopped here on my trip to and return from Montreal recently. Amazing breads...loved the Olive Loaf and baguette's, nice selection of local cheese too. I thought the croissants (ham & cheese $4.00 and chocolate $3.75) were excellent....a bit pricey but very good. Haven't tried the scones I bought yet. This will be a regular stop for me when up that far north on 89.